10 June 2010

"Eulogy" #Fridayflash


Photo credit: kingofcoleslaw from morguefile.com



Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men. - Herodotus






It rained that day. Damp earth mixed with silvered tears from heaven; drops slithering over the skin of our raised umbrellas to form mud. The red-clayed result fell inwards beneath the hovering casket adorned with a shield of white lilies. Eulogy was cited. Family muttered and sniffled behind black-gloved hands. The breeze collected around ladies’ stockinged ankles and felt up their fluttering mourning dresses. Their heels sank into the muck around this receiving hole that would take him in for eternity. We stood sentinel to a lifeless shell; we stood as wraiths in the storm.


Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. From earth we came, to earth we return. Amen.


Two of us stayed behind. She was pale as moonstone, delicate as ivory. Eyes of jade, lips curved and soft as velvet pillows. She held an umbrella. I did not. I stood there, shoulders hunched, sopping with wet and grief at words left unsaid. Her approach elicited no response from me. She offered her umbrella. Blood filled my mouth; I bit my tongue to prevent a lash-out. How dare she be kind to me?


The only time before that I’d seen her was in the passenger side of my father’s car.

35 comments:

Bukowski's Basement said...

A wonderfully, dark, grim and dreary piece. Beautiful in its brevity.

Michael Solender said...

ooh,, what a payoff end line..you set a perfectly gloomy scene and then pow, a viscous punch, I'm sure if looks could kill, the unsuspecting women with the umbrella would be dead.

Deanna said...

So well told Carrie. I enjoy all your work, but these darker pieces are my favorites.

And thanks for the link to morguefile - looks nice.

Laura Eno said...

Too bad the mistress/2nd wife couldn't pretend to shed a tear or two. I love your dark writing. :)

Sulci Collective said...

A grave as a 'receiving hole' - can anyone better that this weekend in fridayflash? I doubt it. Stunning, simply stunning.

I was interested that you used the word sopping - I always assumed it was an Englishism as I've never come across it in writing by Americans.

Marc Nash

Tomara Armstrong said...

Wow...


~2

Wookies Girl said...

Interesting Carrie.. Love it. The mistress shows up at the funeral! I know a few that would do that.

Ashelynn D. Sanford said...

This is one of my favorites. Good job, Carrie. :)

Eric J. Krause said...

Excellent job in setting the scene in this one. And excellent pay off at the end. I enjoyed this a TON!

Olivia Tejeda said...

What she was doing in the passenger seat of his car ... is that what killed him?

I read Mazzz's story about a death just prior to this one. It's an interesting comparison. This one shows much about the human capacity for duplicity. Well done, a rich dark nugget! ~ Olivia

PJ said...

Hmmm... like father, like son? Awesome piece, Carrie :-)

Michelle Sussman said...

Wow - beautifully written. I loved the imagery!!!

Linda said...

Dark and dreary like the day. Then wham - at the end. I also liked the grave as a receiving hole.

Good stuff. Peace...

Cathy Olliffe said...

You amaze me every single week. Your words are like jewels in a display case: each one shines in its own light.
"wraiths in a storm"
Fantastic.

Benjamin Solah said...

Love the dark twist. Really added a bite to the end, pardon the pun.

John Wiswell said...

Okay, I waited until "tomorrow" to read this just like you said. Are you proud of me?

In terms of seeing the joke - I got a little smile out of the ending line. We have our own dark senses of humor. But I'm glad she was nice to him. Time to cross new bridges, if he's driving again yet.

http://bit.ly/b0lPxn

Pavitra .... said...

Wonderful write..! :)
you have described everything so wonderfully and with such few words...
Loved the end..! :)

Diandra said...

You describe beautiful scenes. Even if they're dark and/or sad.

Laurita said...

Dark and stunning. This scene was impeccably described.

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Killer last line! I'm not surprised you chuckled :-)

http://mazzz-in-leeds.com/2010/06/bereft/

Marisa Birns said...

Excellent description abounds! Heels sinking into the muck. Wraiths in the storm. And can see exactly how the mistress looks, what with green eyes and skin as pale as a moonstone.

Lovely.

Tony Noland said...

Beautiful scene. The emotional undercurrents were deep and complex, and done in so few words, too. You show a master's touch here.

Erin Cole said...

Wicked women - they are the greatest with their darkness. Awesome stuff, Carrie.

Pamila Payne said...

Classic dark flash. I love it when you pack so much story, and such intense emotion into so few words.

Michelle said...

wowo - dark... that ending was a great wrap up.

jdanetyler said...

I loved the heavy, thick description and the poignant payoff at the end is accented by the piece's brevity.

Great job, Carrie!

admin said...

You give the children of the interwebs what they want with this piece. A satisfying bite sized chunk with a darkly juicy punchline for their efforts. Tres cool

ABSOLUTELY*KATE said...

From the Father of all Historians leading your damp slithery poignant EULOGY with an apt quotation . . . to description of colour and scents-ual perceptions par excellence, as "wraiths in the storm", we readers felt the moment.

Wondering if you smiled in all your sincerities when you tip-tap-typed out "The breeze collected around ladies’ stockinged ankles and felt up their fluttering mourning dresses." So good, so very bitter biting good Car. Left me "sopping with wet and grief" - hmmm, perhaps for both of them?

~ Absolutely*Kate

Sam said...

Love it! A prefectly created wet, muddy, dreary, sad atmosphere...and what an ending. Bravo!

pegjet said...

Dense and beautiful. Well done Carrie

Icy Sedgwick said...

"we stood as wraiths in the storm" - I simply LOVE this line, and I can't explain why, it's just so beautifully expressed.

Wonderful flash.

~Tim said...

Lovely and dark.

dannigrrl said...

Beautifully descriptive. Nice twist at the end. Great job!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Sorry, a bit late getting to your story...what a dark, poetic look at that somber occasion. Feels like it could continue...

Sophie said...

I found your blog through Icy's.
I really enjoyed this. You write really evocatively and paint the scene perfectly in so few words.